12.) Molvy and the Ghost.

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When Molvy first heard the resort was haunted, she knew immediately what it meant for her: there was going to be trouble.

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11.) “Tell me a story.”

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“Tell me a story.”

“What do you want to hear?”

“Something from back home. But one of the good ones, not one of the ones the elders are always nattering on about.”

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10.) Hyss.

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Terynik was passed out from too much work and too little sleep. She lay on her stomach on the floor, snoring softly. Hyss and Vrissa stared at her. It wasn’t a judgmental or a curious stare. It was a drac stare, the unblinking understanding that the eyes had to rest somewhere, so it may as well be on whatever was moving at the moment.

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9.) Dmiri and Illikhr.

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Dmiri had come by after work to smoke with Illikhr, who had gotten a new pipe tobacco he wanted to the other man to try. Hexen was curled on his bed, reading and only half paying attention to the book. The door to the porch was open, letting in the hot afternoon winds as well as the scents and conversation of the two smokers. Hexen had liked the smell of the new tobacco — it was fruity and spicy, with a sweet caramel note that made him think of desserts — but now he was distracted by something he couldn’t make sense of: a tang of still-wet blood. Illikhr hadn’t gotten cut at work and Dmiri hadn’t mentioned any injuries, so Hexen was confused where it was coming from. Once he’d noticed it, he couldn’t concentrate on anything else.

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7.) Neimei meets the crew.

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“What do you do here, Neimei?” asked Cailish. It was another night, another yurt party. Neimei was a mid-season hire — unusual, but not unexpected, especially since a lot of people had been quitting or just leaving without warning. It had been a difficult summer; understaffed from the beginning, the everyone had been feeling the burnout of being overworked. The breakdown in communications between the resort’s wealthy owners and the people actually employed there had only gotten worse as pressure from both sides on management increased. There had been a lot of yurt parties after work, as an excuse to drink away the crew’s stress.

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